LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Majority Reverses Denial Of Summary Judgment In Negligence Suit

    INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appellate panel on June 19 found that a trial court erred in denying summary judgment for a group of local government defendants in a negligence suit after the majority found that the defendants did not have a duty to protect a man who died after contracting a deadly, brain-deteriorating disease from swimming in a local pond and remanded the case to the trial court (Daviess-Martin County Joint Parks and Recreation Department, et al., v. The Estate of Waylon W. Abel, by John Abel, et al., No. 19A04-1607-CT-1563, Ind. App., 2017, Ind. App. LEXIS 260).

    Mealey's Insurance - California Appeals Panel Says Issue Of Fact Exists On Insurer's Denial Of Coverage

    SANTA ANA, Calif. - The Fourth District California Court of Appeal on June 19 reversed a summary judgment ruling entered in favor of an insurer after determining that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the insurer's refusal to cover an insured's epidural injections for injuries sustained in an automobile accident was reasonable (Carmen Zubillaga v. Allstate Indemnity Co., No. G052603, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 562).

    Mealey's Insurance - New York Appeals Panel: Reinsurer's Loan Was Not A Fraudulent Conveyance

    NEW YORK - A reinsurer's loan was not a fraudulent conveyance because a loan advance, regardless of the size of the collateral pledged, is "fair consideration" for the pledge, the First Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled June 20 (Stillwater Liquidating LLC v. Partner Reinsurance Company Ltd., et al., No. 4339 652451/15, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4965).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Orders Parties To Turn Over Information In Trade Secrets Lawsuit

    OKLAHOMA CITY - Parties in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit are required to provide each other with certain discovery information relating to a former employees' departure from a company and subsequent hiring and duties with a direct competitor, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled June 16 in granting each party's motion to compel in part (Maxum Petroleum Inc. v. Stephen Hiatt, et al., No. 17-287, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92719).

    Mealey's Insurance - Georgia Federal Judge Dismisses 2 Claims Against Broker In Food Contamination Suit

    ATLANTA - An insured's breach of contract claim against its insurance broker must be dismissed because the insured, seeking coverage for underlying suits arising out of exposure to hepatitis A from food purchased from the insured, failed to show that a valid contract existed between the parties, a Georgia federal judge said June 16 (Sentinel Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Tropical Smoothie Cafe LLC, et al., No. 16-4162, N.D. Ga.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Pre-Existing Condition Provision Barred Claim For Long-Term Disability Benefits

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on June 19 determined that a disability insurer's denial of long-term disability (LTD) benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the policy included a pre-existing condition exclusion that clearly precluded coverage to the claimant (Yvonne Hilbert v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., 15-471, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93424).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas Federal Judge Denies Expedited Discovery Motion In Restaurant Dispute

    AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 19 denied a motion for expedited discovery filed by restaurant franchisors, saying that they will receive the information they seek when the defendant files a written update with the court (Stockade Cos. LLC, et al. v. Kelly Restaurant Group LLC, No. 1:17-cv-143, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94097).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insurer, Reinsurer's Negligence Suit For Lack Of Jurisdiction

    SCRANTON, Pa. - An insured's presence destroys complete diversity jurisdiction in a negligence lawsuit also involving its subrogated insurer and reinsurer, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled June 20, dismissing the lawsuit because it cannot proceed without the insured (RAD Manufacturing LLC f/k/a RAD Wood Work Co., et al. v. Advanced Fabrication Services Inc. t/d/b/a AFS Energy Systems, No. 16-2138, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94575).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Home Builder Agrees To Pay Penalty, Obtain Permits For Storm Water Discharges

    NEWARK, N.J. - NVR Inc., doing business as Ryan Homes, on June 15 agreed to pay a $425,000 civil penalty and agreed to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to resolve allegations from the federal government that the home builder was violating the Clean Water Act (United States of America v. NVR, Inc., No. 17cv4346, D. N.J.).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Verdict Against Trans Union Returned In Class Suit Over Credit Report Disclosures

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal jury returned a verdict on June 20 against Trans Union LLC in a class action accusing the credit-reporting agency of failing to provide proper disclosures and failing to ensure the maximum accuracy on its credit reports for individuals with names potentially matching the names of individuals on the U.S. government's list of terrorists and drug traffickers and individuals involved in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (Sergio L. Ramirez v. Trans Union, LLC, No. 12-632, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 7th Circuit: Unaccepted Offer Under Rule 67 Doesn't Moot Claims

    CHICAGO - An unaccepted offer of relief submitted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 67 is no different than one submitted under Rule 68 and is insufficient to moot the claims, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 20 (Fulton Dental, LLC v. Bisco, Inc., No. 16-3574, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10839).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - States Seek To Intervene To Override EPA Stay Of Methane Emissions Rule

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The attorneys general for 14 states and the attorney for the city of Chicago on June 20 moved in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to intervene in a lawsuit brought by environmental advocacy groups against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in connection with the EPA's announcement that it is reconsidering rules on the fugitive emissions of methane (Clean Air Council, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 17-1145. D.C. Cir.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Successor To Operator Of Zinc Smelter Can Face CERCLA Liability

    TULSA, Okla. - A federal judge in Oklahoma on June 20 ruled that the successors to the owner of a former zinc smelting facility can face liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act for fugitive air emissions that resulted in contamination at a nearby town (Cyprus Amax Minerals Company v. TCI Pacific Communications, Inc., No. 11-CV-0252-CVE-PJC, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94682).

    Mealey's Insurance - 'Insured Vs. Insured' Exclusion Bars Coverage For Trustee's Breach Of Fiduciary Suit

    CINCINNATI - A majority of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 20 held that a management liability insurance policy's "insured-versus-insured" exclusion bars coverage for a liquidation trustee's $18.8 million breach of fiduciary lawsuit against officers of the bankrupt holding company (Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. Clifford Zucker, et al., Nos. 16-1695, 16-1697 and 16-1698, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10821, 6th Cir.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Court Finds Borrower Lacked Standing To Assert UCL Claim

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California appeals court on June 16 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation, finding that he lacked standing and that he was not a party to any contract with the lender (Ronald Ferguson v. Bank of America, N.A., No. E064100, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4124).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - DOJ Flips Support To Employer In Supreme Court Class Waiver Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States filed an amicus curiae brief on June 16 in the U.S. Supreme Court fully supporting the employers in three consolidated appeals challenging the barring of class or collective action waivers in employment agreements, noting that it was changing its position as it had previously filed a petition for a writ of certiorari on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board in one of the cases, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307, U.S. Sup. (Epic Systems Corp. v. Jacob Lewis, No. 16-285, Ernst & Young, et al. v. Stephen Morris, et al., No. 16-300, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Certifies Class In Mental Health Insurance Coverage Denial Case

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 15 granted class certification to a group of plaintiffs seeking reprocessing of mental health insurance claims after their insurer allegedly imposed overly strict definitions of medically necessary care in contravention of the plans' terms (Charles Des Roches, et al. v. California Physicians' Service, et al., No. 16-2848, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92573).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - U.K. Firm Proceeds With PCA Arbitration Against India Tax Department

    EDINBURGH, Scotland - A United Kingdom energy company on June 19 gave updates on a dispute with the Indian Income Tax Department, stating that an international arbitration over a tax assessment is progressing and that final hearings in the case will be held next year.

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Facebook Seeks Renewed Discovery Stay In Biometrics Class Action

    SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc. on June 19 moved to renew a motion to stay discovery in a putative class action alleging that the social network violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which it originally filed in California federal court in February, arguing that a pending Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling could be dispositive of disputed jurisdictional questions and could moot the plaintiffs' discovery requests (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Insurance - N.Y. Appeals Court Affirms Ruling Denying Man's Motion To Withdraw Guilty Plea

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. - An appeals court panel in New York on June 16 affirmed a trial court judge's ruling denying a man's motion to withdraw a plea of guilty to one count of insurance fraud, finding that his attorney properly advised him about the risk of deportation associated with the decision (People of the State of New York v. Rayon L. Wong, No. 799 KA 11-00094, N.Y. App., 4th Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4919).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Ohio Appellate Panel Finds Too Much Effort To Identify Class Members

    CLEVELAND - An Ohio appellate panel on June 15 reversed certification of a class of vehicle buyers suing over sales practices, finding abuse of discretion by the trial court because there is no showing of predominance and class members can't be identified without expending more than a reasonable effort (William Konarzewski, et al. v. Ganley, Inc., et al., No. 104681, Ohio App., 8th Dist., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 2347).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Kentucky Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Premises Liability Suit

    LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky appellate panel on June 16 affirmed a premises liability suit in favor of a homeowners association, its board members and a couple who owned a home after finding that none of the defendants owed a woman who injured herself on a sidewalk a duty to protect her (Frances Brooks v. Seaton Place Homeowners Association, Inc., et al., No. 2016-CA-001112, Ky. App., 2017 Ky. app. LEXIS 265).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - California Court Finds Borrower Lacked Standing To Assert UCL Claim

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California appeals court on June 16 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation, finding that he lacked standing and that he was not a party to any contract with the lender (Ronald Ferguson v. Bank of America, N.A., No. E064100, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4124).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - PEX Pipe Maker Removes Suit Filed By Pulte Homes Over Ruptures

    SAN ANTONIO - NIBCO Inc. on June 19 removed to Texas federal court a lawsuit filed by Pulte Homes of Texas L.P. claiming that PEX piping made by NIBCO is defective, arguing that complete diversity exists between the parties and because Pulte is seeking more than $75,000 in damages (Pulte Homes of Texas, L.P. v. NIBCO, Inc., No. 17-CV-544, W.D. Texas).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Enters Default, Confirms $2.1M Award For ING Bank

    SEATTLE - After a fuel bunker trader failed to respond to a bank's petition to confirm a London arbitral award issued in its favor, a Washington federal judge on June 15 entered a default ruling for the bank and ordered the trader to pay it $2,103,750 (ING Bank, N.V. v. Express Pacific LLC, No. 17-0336, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92464).